Match 29
Game Details
South Korea
6:00 PM UTC
Match 28
Game Details
3:00 PM UTC
Match 27
Game Details
12:00 PM UTC Jun 24, 2018
Match 30
Game Details
3:00 PM UTC Jun 24, 2018
Match 32
Game Details
6:00 PM UTC Jun 24, 2018
Match 31
Game Details

Alves urges Costa to stick with Brazil

Dani Alves has advised Diego Costa to turn down Spain’s advances and remain with Brazil, as he may later regret a decision to switch allegiance.

Diego Costa struck twice to keep up Atletico's perfect start to the season.
Diego Costa's goalscoring form for Atletico Madrid has caught the attention of Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque.

• Lowe: Costa's a star

Brazil-born Costa played two friendly games for his home country in March 2013, but after not being called up for last summer’s Confederations Cup he has now apparently decided to play for Spain, where he has lived and played his football since 2007.

Only paperwork issues stopped La Roja coach Vicente Del Bosque from calling La Liga’s current top scorer Costa into his squad for this week’s World Cup qualifiers, but Alves told reporters from Brazil’s camp in China that there was still time for the Atletico Madrid striker to change his mind.

"I ask Diego Costa to take the decision with a cool head, because he would also be an important player for Brazil," Alves said. "He is not pichichi of La Liga for nothing. These decisions are very personal and whatever Diego Costa decides must be respected, but I would suggest he thinks coolly because he cannot later turn back."

The current Barcelona right-back said he had not contacted Costa directly to discuss the situation, but recalled he himself had faced a similar situation in the past and was now happy he had stuck with the country where he was born.

"I have not spoken with Diego Costa about this decision because I do not want to interfere," he said. "Diego will know what is the best for him. If, in the end, he decides to play for Spain, we must respect that. The same happened to me in 2006, when I was at Sevilla, and I decided to play for the team of my own country."

Meanwhile Spain’s latest midfield talent Koke has given his Atletico clubmate advice on joining up with the World Cup holders.

The in-form playmaker told reporters while promoting his new boots in Madrid on Monday that Costa had asked him what life was like with La Roja.

"Diego Costa asked me about the atmosphere with ‘la seleccion’," Koke said. "I told him it is like a family, and that we have a united group. He has not asked me much else. As he himself has said, it is his decision, and he has taken it."

Koke, 21 -- who just made his senior debut in August but has since played in each of Spain’s three subsequent games -- said he was not counting any chickens yet regarding next summer’s World Cup.

"I still have a lot to improve on and I am young," he said. "But it is clear that I am living my dream, playing for the club I have always supported, and the national side. The praise from Del Bosque makes me want to keep working and keeps me motivated. This week we have two important games. There is still a long way to go in the season. I must play well to have a chance of going to the World Cup."


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